Manuscripts, 1933-1953

Document Type




Download Full Text (29.0 MB)

Download CongregationalGeniuses_ECD_Original_1936.pdf (28.9 MB)

Download CongregationalGeniuses_ECD_Transcribed_1936.pdf (117 KB)

Download CongregationalGeniusesBib_ECD_1936.pdf (28.9 MB)




An opening presentation Earl Davis gave to an Institute for Ministers that he co-organized in Petersham, MA. We have yet to confirm the date of the Institute or its other components.

This work is Davis's most comprehensive statement of the Congregational Polity's history of development, whereby each individual church congregation has the authority to establish religious practice as their congregation sees fit, including electing their minister. His history starts with the Pilgrims and Puritans, continues through the conflicts of the late 1600s, and into the early 19th century with the appointment of Henry Ware, Professor of Divinity at Harvard, and William Ellery Channing's Unitarian writings.He proposes that the Congregational Polity, and the move from revelation, authority, and obedience to discovery, persuasion and consent, is the appropriate response to the then current rise of dictatorships in politics and the authoritarian tendencies in religion.

Date refers to Date Given.

The primary downloadable document contains the original document followed by the transcription. The bottom of each item page also features the primary document as an embedded pdf for browsing.
There is an additional supplemental file featuring the full bibliography for this writing.

Transcription by Davis Baird. Item description based off writing and context provided by Davis Baird.


Earl Clement Davis, sermons, minister, Unitarianism, religion

Rights Statement

The Congregational Genius of Our Churches



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